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DATE News (chronologically)
08/18/09
f1
Latest F1 news in brief
  • Raikkonen has not called injured Massa
  • Klien eyes 2010 F1 race seat return
  • Schu to be at Valencia 'to support Badoer'
  • Grosjean/Renault announcement imminent
  • Paris court considered race ban 'damage' - Gracia
  • Tost denies firing Bourdais by text message
  • No refunds for Schu's Valencia comeback tickets

Raikkonen has not called injured Massa
(GMM)  Kimi Raikkonen has not telephoned or visited Felipe Massa since his Ferrari teammate was injured at the Hungarian grand prix last month.

"Kimi has not called but I saw a video made by Sky (television) with all the drivers.  He sent me a card to the hospital," Massa, 28, told Brazilian reporters on Monday.

Massa, however, said Raikkonen's silence is "no problem" since the Finn is a "unique person".

Michael Schumacher has been in contact with the Brazilian since he had to call off his sensational Valencia comeback, Massa revealed.

"He told me had had pain in his neck when the car drove over bumps on the circuit," Massa said.

Recent speculation has hinted at a return for Massa at the Italian grand prix next month, but the driver instead said he is simply hoping to come back before the end of the season.

"I'm still not 100 per cent and my sight in the left eye still isn't 100 per cent," Massa insisted.  "I'm about 85, 90 per cent recovered.  There is still a bit to go before I'm back to normal."

He said his convalescence at present is "boring" because he is not allowed to do any physical training, and revealed that he will have some cosmetic surgery to correct his facial scar.

Klien eyes 2010 F1 race seat return
(GMM)  Christian Klien has dismissed as "speculation" claims that BMW's impending withdrawal from F1 leaves him in the box seat for a return to the grid in 2010.

The news has triggered intensifying rumors that Robert Kubica will wind up at Renault next year, while the experienced Nick Heidfeld is likely to be high on the shopping lists of the 2010 teams USF1, Campos and Manor.

Austrian Klien, 26, is BMW-Sauber's reserve driver, and he admitted that staying at the Hinwil based team if it is able to survive in a different guise next year is his priority.

As for whether he is on the verge of a F1 comeback, he told the Austrian press: "That would be speculation at the moment, because the overall situation is unclear."

Another rumor is that a round of musical chairs could be about to kick off even within the 2009 season, with Fernando Alonso switching to Ferrari, Kubica to Renault, and therefore reserve Klien to the BMW race seat.

"What I can contribute at the moment is for me to maintain maximum physical fitness," Klien said, "because the Ferrari example shows how quickly things can change."

He admitted moving to a new team next year might be an option.

"There have been enquiries during this season," said Klien.  "The new teams are naturally interested in drivers with experience.  But anyway this team (BMW-Sauber) remains my first choice.

"With all the human capital and infrastructure at Hinwil I see no reason why we can't build a successful car for 2010," he added.

Schu to be at Valencia 'to support Badoer'
(GMM)  Michael Schumacher will travel to Valencia for this weekend's European grand prix, despite calling off his sensational formula one return due to a neck injury.

The 40-year-old German wanted to replace the injured Felipe Massa this weekend and beyond, but Ferrari has instead had to turn to its long-time test driver Luca Badoer.

"Michael is (coming to Valencia) to support the team and Luca," Schumacher's spokeswoman Sabine Kehm told Bild-Zeitung newspaper.

Badoer, 38, who last raced in F1 with Minardi in 1999, possesses the unwelcome record for having contested the most grands prix weekends - 56 - without scoring a single point.

Referring to Schumacher, he said last week: "Last night he called me a couple of minutes after Stefano Domenicali had told me the news and I know that he'll always be ready to give me some advice and he will shout for me."

Grosjean/Renault announcement imminent
(GMM)  Even with Renault's Valencia race ban now overturned, Romain Grosjean late on Monday was still not ready to confirm that he will contest the European grand prix for the French team.

With Nelson Piquet having already announced that he has been ousted, we revealed on Monday that if Enstone based Renault was pardoned by the Court of Appeal, an announcement about Renault's driver lineup would be made early on Tuesday.

French-Swiss reserve and GP2 driver Grosjean, 23, is first in line for the seat alongside Fernando Alonso, but he told the Tribune de Geneve newspaper: "As long as there's nothing official, nothing is for certain."

Paris court considered race ban 'damage' - Gracia
(GMM)  The FIA's Court of Appeal reconsidered the ban on Renault's participation at the European grand prix due to the "collateral damage" of the stewards' ruling.

"The stewards of Hungary had not measured the consequences of this sanction on Renault and Alonso," Carlos Gracia, Spain's highest ranking motor racing official who attended the Paris hearing on Monday, told the AS newspaper.

Gracia said the four judge-panel Court, in replacing the race ban with a $50,000 fine and written reprimand, had considered the "collateral damages that the stewards of the Hungaroring did not consider".

He also revealed that observers for the Williams and McLaren teams sat in on the Monday morning appeal.

The FIA said late on Monday that the reasons for the Court's decision will be published shortly.

No refunds for Schu's Valencia comeback tickets
(GMM)  Refunds for tickets bought to witness Michael Schumacher's aborted formula one return at Valencia will not be refunded, according to Auto Motor und Sport.

News of the seven time world champion's comeback triggered a spike in flagging sales for the Spanish street race, even though 30,000 of the available 75,000 Sunday tickets are still on the market.

Carlos Gracia, head of the Spanish motor racing federation, was present at Renault's race ban appeal hearing in Paris on Monday, but he denied the Court of Appeal ruled in the team's favor in order to prevent a disaster for the Valencia event.

If the ban had stood, not only would Schumacher not have been in action, but also absent would have been the local favorite Fernando Alonso.

"One has nothing to do with the other," Gracia told the Spanish newspaper AS.  "The Court of Appeal did its work with absolute independence and total autonomy."

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